Sa’id Yahaya Abubakar, popularly known as Sa’id Nagudu is a Hausa singer and actor. In this interview, he talks about his obsession with music from an early age, delving into acting, and more. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How did you become a singer?
Sa’id Nagudu: While growing up, I used to convert every conversation into a song. It became clear to many people close to me that I could grow up to become a fine singer. But my parents never wanted to hear anything about being a singer. I also ran out of luck with my teachers because I used to grab what I was taught and make a song out of it. I would then get punished.
I initially started with English songs, but I later realised that singing in Hausa would sell more in northern Nigeria. I didn’t expect much until I received a call from Ali Nuhu who liked one of my songs. He said he wanted us to work together for a movie he was making. I was ecstatic, but that was what actually happened. He used my song in one of his films and it emerged as the best that same year. For that I will always be indebted to Ali Nuhu. He has been a pillar in my career.
WM: What was it like making your first song?
Nagudu: I released some singles while with Nagudu Investment. I then moved to Hikima Multimedia where I was able to release my first musical album with great assistance from my boss in the music sector, Aminu Ladan (ALA). That was how the journey started. Currently, I have my own music company and it has been one success story after the other ever since.
WM: What would you say inspires you, generally?
Nagudu: I usually get inspired by events happening around me. A good song writer ought to have a sense of creativity and I believe what really helps in my musical career is my ability to look at things happening today and use pure Hausa words that are considered obsolete.
It’s in my tradition to take at least three days to a week in writing my lyrics. I also conduct research on a topic I intend to write a song about before composition.
I have a few albums in the market right now and also some videos. My albums such as ‘Da Hankalin’ and ‘Rike Amana’ are doing well in the market. My hit single video of ‘Harsashe’ was shot in Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Jos. I have also featured big names in the industry like Nazir M. Ahmad Sarkin Waka, among others.
So far, I have won three awards with one song in one year, and I was honoured by Freedom Radio, Bayero University and several other platforms. I have also had a very memorable experience with Glo Telecommunication Company as one of the few Hausa singers to be invited for the company’s promo.
WM: What are some of your greatest challenges so far?
Nagudu: Managing fame at an early stage in one’s life is not as easy as it seems. I was new in the industry when my songs became hits and that made me a household name in the industry. I never expected it to happen that fast but it did, therefore I found it very difficult to cope, but with time I was able to overcome and here I am today.
WM: Is it true that you have delved into acting?
Nagudu: It’s true. I have developed interest in acting. I have already featured in some films, but it wasn’t easy. In fact, I have concluded arrangements to produce some movies.
WM: Are you by any chance related to Jamila Nagudu?
Nagudu: No, I am not. It has been a tradition in the Hausa entertainment industry to get a tag based on the recording label you started with. I joined Nagudu investment in 2008, which marked the beginning of my relationship with the movie and entertainment industry as a whole.
Also, the name Nagudu seems to be a household name in Kanyywood and many people believe that it is a family name. But the truth is that some people bearing the name got it as a result of their engagement with Nagudu Investment company.